Probably taken in late winter or early spring on a nice day, Charlie, my dad, and Bing, our weird old dog, sat on a bench for a snapshot. As I looked at this, I could see all the familiar things in the backyard. I put the picture in one of my photo editing programs and zeroed in on the background.To the left is a wooden frame with a big barrel on the corner of the top. That is the shower that Dad built. He filled the barrel with water and the sun heated it and we were able to take showers. Of course, the sides were covered with canvas! It looks like he has some benches and the big old Adirondak chairs stored there for the winter. Further back and in the center is our old coal shed. The house had two coal burning stoves - the one in the kitchen was for heat and for cooking, also. That's another way of life, for sure. In the summer, Mom used a kerosene stove since it would have been intolerable to have the big stove going. I also see a ladder leaning against a tree and have no idea what that was for. Then there is the little building to the right of the coal shed - yes, the outhouse. Dad always referred to it as "Aunt Mary's". It was sweltering in the summer and had lots of "mud dawbers" which were like wasps. In the winter it was freezing cold. I do and always will think that growing up like that makes you kind of tough - and, although I would never want to go back to living like that - it didn't hurt me a bit.
The quality of the old pictures amazes me - they enlarge very nicely. Hope you enjoyed this little piece of the past. (Click to enlarge)